On Friday and Saturday, I presented public screenings of YouTube videos from Afghanistan — helmet-camera footage of a firefight, wounded Americans being evacuated by helicopter, a soldier's intimate video diary, Taliban fighters in action — to small groups at Montserrat College of Art (where I teach) in Beverly and at AS220 in Providence.

VIDEOS: Selections from the Afghanistan War YouTube Video Fest

In a discussion afterward, a man asked, "Why are we still in Afghanistan?"

I couldn't begin to answer him. A decade on, what are our goals? To defeat al Qaeda? Hasn't that basically been accomplished with the killing of Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda's leadership? Are we fighting to stabilize Afghanistan so that it can never again become a haven for those who might attack the US? If that's the goal, how will our troops ever come home?

Read more about the banner project at gregcookland.com/afghanbanners.

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